Friday, June 30, 2017

Farm And Garden Report

I think the heat and the walks and the week caught up with me today and after I made eight more pints of Sweet and Hot Curried pickles and cleaned up the kitchen I laid down for a teeny-tiny nap which I did not awake from until over an hour had passed. The cucumbers are about to come to an end, the vines getting yellow and withery looking, many of the cukes housing worms so I want to do what I can while I still can. Is that a pun? This batch of pickles had not only cucumbers and Vidalia onions in them but also squash and green tomatoes and peppers. Two jars did not seal and are now in my refrigerator which is starting to look like the break-room refrigerator of the test-kitchen at Vlasic, Inc. My current batch of fourteen-day pickles will be ready to can in five days, I believe. Something like that.

Dottie is still sitting on her three donor eggs and Trixie is spending a lot of time in the hen house. She is truly getting old and tired. Dearie has a bigger flock than Mick does and he still isn't a regular crower. The only two birds who don't seem to belong to a flock are Lucy and Owl and they are still on their own, rarely getting more than a hundred feet from the hen house still. I think they will eventually become part of whichever flock will have them. None of the young hens are laying and it's driving me crazy. I should probably take an entire day to follow them all around to see if they are laying clandestinely somewhere. I mean- this is ridiculous! Or maybe it's not. I don't know. But quite honestly, even with only Camellia and Violet laying approximately three eggs between them every two days, we still have more eggs than Mr. Moon and I use but I would love to be able to supply my kids with eggs.
Okay. I just looked at old blog posts and I got those chickens in March which means they're only four months old and that would explain why they're not laying yet. It might be another two months! Oh my. Well, it will be a glory day when they do and I just need to be patient.

Here's what we're having for supper tonight. Two types of field peas, one a black-eyed and the other a cream. See that little bit of meat poking through? Believe it or not, that's the still-meaty bone from Mr. Moon's Porkasaurus Chop he had last night at the restaurant. It was huge and tasted almost ham-like and despite the fact that he kept giving away bites, he had enough to bring home and if it's wrong to cook a leftover pork chop bone with home grown field peas, I do not want to be right. I think I'm going to make some oven-fried green tomatoes and a salad with cukes and tomatoes too. 
Talk about your farm-to-table. 
We got your farm-to-table right here. 
And Mr. Moon is going fishing again tomorrow and if we get some more snapper it won't hurt my feelings one bit. 

Well, I better get to it. 

Be well, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Deep Thoughts And Beautiful People

Well, Hank had to work and of course the Weatherfords are in Asheville but the rest of us went out to celebrate Boppy's birthday last night. We chose a local farm-to-table restaurant which has really good food and lots of gardens but we got seated on a narrow porch which was so noisy that it almost gave ME a seizure and the AC wasn't exactly working overtime either. Still. We had fun.
And like I said, the food was good.

Do you love May's new short hair? I do!

 I told Owen he had demon ears.

Boppy and Magnolia fed each other.

Gibson made faces. I told him to be sweet and this is what he did.

He's such a goober. 

Anyway, that's what we did and Mr. Moon didn't even want a cake. I made him his favorite dessert for Father's Day and he pretty much just finished that up. It's a many-layered thing that involves chocolate and pecans and butter and sugar and whipped cream and cream cheese. The original recipe is all junk food from instant pudding to Kool Whip but of course I make it real. I've told my children that if I die and their father remarries that if they sort of like the woman to show her the recipe but not to tell her how I make it although if they REALLY like her, they can.
You know, somehow it does bother me a little to think of another woman using my cookbooks although I know that if I'm dead it won't bother me in the least. 
Humans are odd.

Nothing much else to report. I took a good walk which makes four this week and I didn't die unless I did and this is heaven although I do not think it is because mosquitoes are biting my ankles and if there are mosquitoes in heaven it won't be heaven. 
That's my theory, anyway.

Did you ever notice how everyone is so worried about whether or not there will be dogs in heaven? I just hope there are chickens in heaven. Maybe cats. 

Actually, dogs are fine. Don't let me inflame anyone here. And frankly, I'll be absolutely fine with just being dead and letting whatever bugs want to eat me up and poop me out as I slumber eternally. 

On that note- 

Happy Friday, y'all!

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Happy Birthday, My Love

Because you are so tender and so giving, so loving and so hard-working. Because you are the man of my dreams and my dream of a man. Because you are patient and caring, because you are funny and fun. Because you are beautiful and you are handsome and you are precious. Because you are good. Because you are compassionate and you are human, because you never give up and because you love us all for exactly who we are. Because you are Glen Moon and you are Zen Glen. Because you know how to love and never stint on loving. Because you are wise and you are fair. Because of how you are as a father, a friend, a lover, a companion, the person I would choose above all others to be by my side on this journey of our lives through the sorrows, the joys, the adventures, the sunsets, the card games on our back porch or a table by the Caribbean. 
Because of all of this and so much more, I celebrate you on your birthday and am grateful for every single day of our life together. 
And I love you forever. 


Yours Most Truly...Mary

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Days Like This

Today has just been a bugger and that's all there is to it. I woke up with everything from fear to anger to sadness to depression to self-loathing to anxiety floating around in a toxic soup and despite another walk that I pushed myself through, the feelings remained.
I had to go to town. Tomorrow is Mr. Moon's birthday and of course I had done nothing to get ready and so after procrastinating as long as possible here in Lloyd, I went to Tallahassee, first to the New Leaf to get oils and stuff to make a supposedly superior-to-deet mosquito repellent, and then to the fucking goddamn mall to try and find my husband something new to wear.
It really wasn't that bad. I got done what I could although I felt like bolting every second I was there and here's something new- store personnel seem to want to talk to me as if I was a little child who needs to be addressed in a crooning, simple manner. A child who has perhaps lost her mommy and needs some help.
I'm not kidding.
This just pisses the living shit out of me.
Yeah, I'm old enough to be their grandma but I can still figure out how to purchase an item and even operate the damn card machine.
Oh Jeez. I'm just in a very bad mood and I didn't need that sort of reminder that I'm older than the precursor to dirt. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Then on to Publix. Not MY Publix, but a different one and I got behind a woman in line who was buying things like many, many boxes of Lipton soup mix and spaghetti sauces and dog food. And she had coupons. She had coupons that she'd printed out. They did not want to scan. There had to be a careful tallying of coupon and product. More scanning attempts. The dog food did not qualify for the coupons. Managers were called. More than one. And you know when you're standing there and you realize you should just remove your items from the belt and go to a different line but you have a lot of items on the belt and you think that it can't possibly take much longer? And then it does but hell, you've already invested twenty minutes of your life into this particular line? And the woman with the coupons refuses to look at you or offer any sort of apology because she is well within her rights to use these obviously defective coupons? And the cashier does apologize but what can you say because it's not her fault?
Yeah. All of that.

So I finally made it home and hauled everything in through the dense cloud of mosquitoes and yes, I did make up some of this botanical bug spray and it seems to help but my skin is greasy and gross now. At least it does not smell unpleasant.

Mr. Moon and Gibson are back although Mr. Moon is in town doing business stuff. Here's a picture I got from their lunch stop.

They're waiting on their Steak Burgers and eating their milkshakes. Obviously, someone had some fun today. 

And here is a picture of August.

It is reported that suddenly he can do puzzles and goes and gets them himself and proceeds to play with them. I remember when Owen did that. It's like a little lock in the head turns and the concept is learned and there you to do puzzles. 

And now I need to go make supper and also, it is the eighth day in this current cycle of the fourteen day pickles and the brine must be drained and boiling water poured over the cucumbers. 

I don't feel like doing any damn bit of either of those things but I can't think of anything else I'd want to do so I might as well do what needs to be done. 

Or something like that. 

Love...Ms. Moon The Incredibly Bitchy

He Really Said That

Owen brought his name blanket with him on Monday when he came to spend the night. He told me there was a tear in it and that he wanted me to fix it.
"The love can get out if there's a hole," he said.

I took needle and thread and found the little place where stitching had not held and bound it up neatly and surely.

I do not want one bit of love to ever get out. Never.
Even if it could.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My World

Owen and I had a fine morning and we packed his things up and I packed up green beans and pickles and cucumbers and an eggplant to take to his mama and we drove to his house down the red clay road under the bowing oaks beside the horse and cow pastures, the neighborhood of little Jim Walters houses with dog pens out front and bigger places, more hidden from view with tall, wide-board fences.

Maggie was wearing the dress I made her with her little brown shoes and lacy socks, a lady-baby, my granddaughter. We piled into Lily's car and went to Japanica because we were hungry and it is summer and Owen gets to go to his favorite restaurant once again.

We had our miso soups and our salads with the ginger dressing which I would drink from the container it comes in if I could get away with it and then ate our sushis and our tempuras and our rice.

We had a moment on the comfy couch as you can see in the picture at the top of the post and Maggie screamed in joy as Owen tickled her. 

Then on we went to the Goodwill book store where Owen talked me into two books and a game and Maggie got two books and I got one book and Owen offered the very nice attendant one of his candies from Japanica. 

After that, Costco because of course we needed to go to Costco and I got enough garlic for many, many pickles and we got apples and nuts and raspberries and juice bars and there were so many samples and Owen saved all of his in a special area in the cart to eat on his way home. A veritable buffet of cheese and yogurt and popcorn and I don't know what all. Back to Lily's house and I came home and took a little nap and now I've got seven more pints of dill pickles in the canner about to come out. It's been raining and it's coolish and I am thinking about my grandson who asked me today what I would do if I was very young and had it all to do over again and then later, what divorce had felt like. 

Seven years old. 

Well. From vine to jar. 

POP say the jars as their lids suck in and a seal is made and I shut off the flame from beneath the canning kettle.

Another day in this small life. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Something New To Put On My Resume

Last night Owen had the choice of five different places to sleep. The guest room where he usually sleeps, the love couch in the library, the couch in the Glen Den, Boppy's chair in the Glen Den, or next to me. He chose Boppy's chair and we got it all fixed up and comfy.

Then he took his bath and got too hot and had to lay on my bed with the fans going on him and then I got out my ancient copy of The Wizard of Oz and started reading to him and next thing I knew...the boy was asleep.
He's a good one to sleep with. He doesn't move a lot or make noise. However, he reported this morning that I kept him awake all night with my snoring. I asked him why he hadn't moved to another sleeping place and he said, "Too soft."
"My snoring was too soft?"
"NO! The bed!" 

I think his grandfather could probably relate. 
I asked Mr. Moon if he and Gibson slept well. 
"Oh hell no," he said. "He decided to sleep in my bed."
Gibson's a cuddler and a mover-about. But he's sweet. On the phone he told me to kiss his mama for him. I said I would and I will. 

We've had some major excitement here already today. Mr. Moon couldn't get his auction bidding site up on his computer at the hotel where he and Gibson are staying in Orlando and I had to bid on a car! Oh my god. You have no idea how stressful and exciting this was! I got it, too! They do a simulcast of the auction and it's a real auction with the auctioneer singing/chanting/rattling off the stats and bids but luckily, it's all on screen, too. 
"I need a drink now," said Mr. Moon when it was all over. He was on the phone with me the whole time coaching me through it. 
Instead I think he's taking Gibson swimming in the pool. 
Owen and I are going to go pick up Maggie and Lily and go to Costco and do our in-town stuff. 
The chickens have all been let out and Owen's had watermelon and cheese toast for breakfast and Maurice and I have shared our yogurt. So we're just about good to go. 

Let's all have a good one, okay?

Love...Ms. Moon

Monday, June 26, 2017

Just Getting On With It

I woke up this morning with my whole being roiling in anxiety. Not the panic attack type, just your everyday garden variety where life seems too scary to live in all regards.
I can't really describe it but there were tears. A few.
I knew I had to go walk and so I did, pushing it hard enough so that my breathing was concentrated on the out-breaths, a hard push of them out as if the anxiety itself were doing the pushing from behind me, inside me. Both.
I did stop to take a picture of the beautiful pink swamp mallow

which is indeed growing right next to a swamp which I also took a picture of. 

These rain-filled little creeklets always seem to me to lead into another mysterious universe, just hidden from view. 

I had been planning on going to Publix to buy garlic to make more dill pickles but supposedly, Mr. Moon was going to be bringing Gibson over around noon and he was going to pack and then he and Gibson were going to go down to Orlando to help celebrate Mr. Moon's sister's birthday. Owen got to go to one of these events a few years ago and it is Gibson's turn. My sister-in-law's sons and their wives and children are there too so there is much fun to be had and it's so special that Glen can take Gibson by himself, which is a rare and precious thing.

But of course noon turned into one and then two and then three and finally, by four my husband arrived with Gibson AND Owen who had wanted to come hang out with his Mer and spend the night. I packed the travelers enough snack food to carry them through the rest of the week if they needed to survive and then made popcorn too. They set off with their bowls on their laps, their water bottles within easy reach, to hit the highway to Orlando. I made Owen some popcorn too and then he wanted Chex Mix and made rings for his fingers with the pretzel circles in the mix and asked me if I knew how to get the Wii started which I did not but I called Boppy and he explained it to me and now the boy is playing various games. 

He seems happy. We took the trash to the trash depot together and I found a huge concrete pot that someone was throwing away and I would have loved to have brought it home but it had a plastic pot in it and lots of dirt and there was a tree growing through the plastic pot down into the concrete pot and I couldn't pull it out and empty the dirt so that I had the possibility of lifting it into the car. 
But dang, I wanted it. 
I could grow an entire herb garden in that thing. Sadly, I left it behind and we came on home. 

I still feel unsettled but plenty okay to have Owen here. He's fairly self-sufficient anyway and doesn't need me to entertain him every second. It's nice to have my first-born grand here by himself and I think he likes that too although he did tell me that he's going to miss Gibson. And I'm sure he will. As will Magnolia. 

Lily just sent me a video of Maggie singing her ABC's. I just uploaded it to Youtube so I can share it. I watch this and I think about how splendid and amazing it would be if I could see a video of Hank taking his first steps or learning to read or May dancing in the little nightgown that she loved to dance in so much or of Lily and Jessie on the Christmas morning that they were surprised with their puppy Pearl. 

So much about this world has gotten so weird and so far out and beyond the realm of what I could ever have imagined but this ability to easily capture our children's first moments, first steps, first words so easily and preserve them for as long as Youtube may be around is a sort of sweet miracle. 
Here she is. Ms. Magnolia June, singing with her mama and then giving her a great big kiss.

Our little one-and-only woman baby, smart and pretty and dancing already, beloved by her mama and her daddy, her brothers and her grandparents.

And now I'm going to go rustle Owen and me up some supper. Frozen pizza for him and a long-stashed chicken pot pie for me.
And watermelon.

It's summer time and the living is, as they say, easy.
I can't control the catfish jumping or how high the cotton is but I can surely make supper as easy as turning on the oven.
And Owen wants me to come do some Wii thing and I guess I will.
See you later.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Doing My Best

The Phlox are blooming. 

It's raining gently and I'm cooking eggplant to make Granny Matthew's eggplant casserole which is so good that people who hate eggplant love it.
Once, my brother had a girlfriend who came for supper and I served this casserole. She was going back for seconds when she asked what was in it.
"Eggplant," I said.
She suddenly decided she did not like it and took her plate to the kitchen.
She was odd. She got a snake for a pet. I secretly thought she only did that so that people would think she had a personality.
That is not who my brother married. The woman he married does have a personality.
And no need for a snake.

Mr. Moon is working on the dryer. It has not been drying well lately. I determined that the lint trap was filled in such a way that I could not clean it despite the fact that I clean the lint screen every time I use the dryer and he brought in his shop-vac and took care of that problem. It still did not work well. It heated and it tumbled so common sense said that the moisture was somehow being blocked from escaping.
He pulled out the machines (the dryer is stacked on the washer) and removed the big silver hose which takes the moisture and I assume, some of the lint, out.
He has vacuumed everything and cleaned out the hose and is putting it all back together. If it were just me, up to me alone, nothing like this would ever happen. I think about an Anne Tyler novel I read once where the family in it viewed things rusting or falling apart or falling down or becoming inoperable as just an inevitable part of life which none of them could no more possibly change than they could alter the passage of time.
It struck me that I am one of those people.
And I know I am.
This makes me feel so inadequate as a human being. I mean, I can clean a hen house or weed a garden or change a baby or wash the dishes or get gas for my car (barely) but these things are merely maintenance and have nothing to do with repair or renewal or restoration.

Dottie took a break off the nest today to go run and take a dirt bath and eat and drink and while she was gone, I looked to see what she is sitting on and discovered that there are only three eggs in the nest and those are the ones I gave her.

Oh, Dottie.
Bless your heart.

Bless her heart, bless my heart, bless Maurice's heart. She will NOT stop getting in fights and her face looks like she's a member of the Fight Club and I don't know how to stop her.

And her face looks worse tonight because she attacked Jack today and he, as always, won.

She's Scarface and I expect to walk into a room and find her hoovering lines of coke up her nose and screaming in cat-tongue about how the world's out to get her.

I'm a little bit crazy today. It's okay. I was normal yesterday so what do you expect?

Bless your heart too. I mean it.

Love...Ms. Moon

Sunday, As Always

Dreams this morning of children and unexpected swimming pools in a yard with space to put the chickens. Dreams of professors and books signed with love and a class on why lesbians like to eat what they like to eat.
Oh, my dreams are so funny. My brain makes jokes it takes even me a while to get.

While the covers were still up to my ears, I knew it was gong to be an anxious day but, oh- who knows? Most days seem that way in the beginning but this one is carrying on as predicted and why not? It's Sunday.

Do you know that even now, at the age of almost-63 I still have nightmares about my stepfather?
Fifty-four years of trying to "just let it go."
My mother is in those dreams too.

Ah well. This is part of who I am just as surely as my nearsightedness, my love of books and words, that patch of not-much-melanin on my right calf which looks like a map of an uncharted island.

Don't read the newspapers. Just don't do it. Don't read the news online. Not that either. Don't follow the links on Facebook. Uh-huh.
As if any of that is possible.
As if it's possible at all to isolate/pretend/protect/reject/stay in dreamworld all day long.

The crickets are singing, singing, singing. Rhythm, then harmony, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, all voices together again in crescendo, fading, beginning again. The sky is growing gray. We are supposed to get rain. A squirrel grazes on the chicken scratch in a desultory manner. A hen on the nest, an old friend faithfully by her side.

Slow and steady and same as always the planet makes its journey around this sun star and so far tides still rise and fall as do the voices of the crickets, cicadas, frogs, children.

The Holy Hymn of Earth.

Some days I think my only job is to hear it, to know it, to worship in its various cadences, realizing I have a heartbeat which, for now, is part of it all.

You too.

Love...Ms. Moon

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I Got Sticky Fingers That Smell Like Cumin

Ten more pints of pickles, these the Sweet and Hot Curried ones with cucumbers and green beans and tiny eggplant, golden raisins, red onions and some peppers so hot that hours after cutting them my hands are still stinging. And now my kitchen smells like Buddha's mother's kitchen on the days she made pickles. I feel certain of this.
I am a picklin' fool.
I went to Walmart today.
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa but hey! I needed some damn dill seed and Publix doesn't have it and I was afraid the Winn Dixie in Monticello wouldn't have the fresh ginger which I also needed and blah, blah, blah, excuses, excuses, excuses.

After Walmart, I went to Publix where my friend Judy checked me out.
"Where've you been today?" she asked me while I was standing in line behind the woman she was checking out before me.
"Oh, Judy. I hate to tell you."
It was only then that I realized the woman in front of me paying for her groceries was wearing a Walmart employee shirt.

But overall it's been a good day. I have felt...normal in all regards.
Which is not normal for me but what I imagine normal to feel like. I didn't hurt overmuch in any area of my body, I didn't worry overmuch about anything. I didn't get anxious in Walmart, or at least not very much. A normal amount of anxiety, I would say. For Walmart. There weren't that many people there and the ones that were there seemed relatively... normal.

And it just felt so good, knowing I was going to come home and fill up the canning kettle again and slice vegetables that I've grown my very own self and boil a pickling syrup with vinegar and sherry and spices and garlic and ginger and sugar.
And I was happy doing all of that.
I am a simple woman and that's all there is to it.

When I was in the Walmart, I couldn't help but see some of the Pioneer Woman's products and there was a part of me which thought, "Jesus. She started out with nothing but a blog about cows and her husband and her kids and some dogs. And now she's the head of an empire and she's on TV and revitalizing her little town and what the hell am I doing?"

Making pickles, that's what. And let's face it- I no more want to be head of an empire than I want to revitalize Lloyd. That would suck.
Although I wouldn't mind if I could get a decent breakfast here without having to cook it myself. Maybe the truck stop owner will actually rebuild and put in a decent kitchen. Maybe even in my lifetime.
We'll see.

Meanwhile, I'm happy with what I have and wouldn't trade my little life with my garden and chickens and cats and man and kids and grands for anything in the world and I make a very fine breakfast in my very own kitchen with my very own chicken's eggs and that is just the truth.

As always-

Love...Ms. Moon

As They Say These Days- GENDER REVEAL!

Mr. Moon and I got smart this morning and went out and picked before it got killer hot. Then I shared a yogurt with Maurice who loves yogurt but only if it's got fruit in it and then I went out and weeded the zinnias and the edamame and THAT WAS ENOUGH OF THAT!
Phew. Already soaked through with sweat but I'm not close to the vomit-point so I feel good.

But I did not come here to talk about that. I came here to discuss the fact that Jessie got an ultrasound this week and so we now know the gender (supposedly- as I have discovered, you can't really be sure until the child grows up enough to tell you) of this little Boo Boo Weatherford.

But first, before I tell you, here's Jessie's most recent pregnant mama picture. With an added August bonus.

Isn't that a pretty belly on a pretty mama?
And...she's having another boy!
August will get a brother and Maggie shall, for the moment at least, remain the only woman child in the bunch. 
Which she is certainly sassy enough to handle with no difficulty whatsoever. 

And so we shall get another little boy and oh my goodness! Those Moon women and their boys! Precious boys. 
And now I can start thinking about another quilt and before we know it, there will be another birth, another sweet miracle of life for us to love on. Jessie says he's an active little guy, playing around in his watery world, practicing his breast stroke, his Australian crawl, his gymnastics so that when he is born he will be strong enough to play with his brother as soon as possible. 

My heart is so happy about all of this. And we're going up to see them in a few weeks. I talked to August yesterday and told him that I was going to come and kiss, kiss, kiss him. And play with him. And read books to him. And bite his toes and fingers whereupon he asked politely for his Boppy. 
Ah well. He will be getting us both. 

And I'm about to run into town to get ingredients to make these. 
Except I'm not going to use zucchini of which I have none, but cucumbers and little eggplants and green beans. 
Why not? 

Exotic pickles! 

Life is good. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Friday, June 23, 2017

At Least I Haven't Seen Any Snakes. Yet

Oh, y'all. I am so tired of sweating and itching and it's only June! I am being such a whiner and complainer this year but I swear it's worse than it's ever been. Here's a picture that Mr. Moon took last night.

That's how big the freaking mosquitoes are. And they are so hungry. And there are so many. After my husband took that picture last night, the seemingly dead and smashed insect came back to life and started crawling around. And I've never encountered mosquitoes that are so hard to slap. They move like jet planes. Everything about them is absolutely infuriating. Throw in these tiny ants with their pincers of pain and I'm about to lose my mind. 

I went outside and cleaned the hen house and put out fresh hay. I'd sprayed myself with bug repellant so that part wasn't so bad but the heat was overbearing. I told myself to just suck it up and went to pick the garden. I got the cucumbers picked (and there are enough for another canning kettle of pickles, I think) and plucked a few small tomatoes and an eggplant and started in on the green beans and got about halfway down the row and I realized that if I didn't stop and go inside, I was going to have heat stroke. 
For real. 

And I think about those pioneer women I've written about before and how I could not have lasted a month living in Florida under the conditions they lived in. I would have thrown myself into the nearest alligator infested river and prayed for quick end to my misery.

Well, here's what I did pick today.

Or part of it, at least. Can you believe that eggplant? It's a double wide. So glossy and perfect and purple that it doesn't even look real. 

And life goes on. We have to take the good with the bad and honestly, with air conditioning and running water and refrigerators, it's mostly good. And there are so many people in Florida who simply stay inside all summer long, paying someone else to do anything that must be done outside, buying their vegetables in Publix where shopping is a pleasure and the air conditioning makes the temperature perfect and the Muzak is not annoying. There was an article in the paper today about how it's the perfect time of year to camp at one of our beautiful state parks and all I could think was, "Yes, if you have a death wish."

I am grateful that I have the choice to brave the outdoors if I want to and the choice to come inside and be in the air conditioning if I don't. I could let the whole damn garden go to seed and shame and no one's life would be endangered. 
And of course, there's the river, right down the road where revival and redemption are but a dive into the spring-fed waters away. 

Can I get a hallelujah?
Amen, sisters and brothers. 

What The Rain Brings

Roses, ginger lily, bananas, the resurrection fern on the oak branches. All of that and the figs are swelling too.

Also- mosquitoes that could bleed a cow in an hour, little tiny black ants that swarm my porch and sting me, steam after a quick rainstorm that soaked me as I walked and got my hanging sheets so wet I've had to bring them in for another rinse and spin and then time in the dryer.

Here. Trixie is helping Dottie.

Sister wives. The old and the young. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Thursday, June 22, 2017

More This And That

I got a text from Lily this morning after that deadly walk that she and the kids were down at the Wacissa with her friend Kelly. I decided that a jump in the river was just what I needed and so I did a few things around here that needed doing and put on a bathing suit bottom, a tight tank top and a loose tank top over that. I absolutely refuse to wear a bathing costume that has more bra in it that I wear to go out to eat. Forget it. No way. And I have looked all over the place (i.e., the internet and Target) for a bathing suit that doesn't have a fucking bra in it and I can't find one and at the Wacissa you'll see every sort of bathing suit and not-a-bathing-suit imaginable and no one gives a damn what you wear to swim in.
The water was cold and the sun was behind clouds and there was a good breeze so the yellow flies weren't out. It was, in short, heaven.
Maggie has realized that I am someone she can boss around and seems to be somewhat infatuated with me at the moment. She'll call me in a regular voice, "MerMer!" and if I don't respond immediately, she raises her voice higher and louder until she is absolutely shouting my granny name.
Like that.
At one point today she came over to where I was sitting in my chair and pushed me out of it and then stole my water.

Well, yes, I am about ten times bigger than she is but size doesn't count for everything. 
Trust me. 

So we had a good time and Owen jumped off the rope swing for the first time which is a pretty big deal. Then I got hungry and came home and ate some field peas. 

And did other stuff but it's all boring to do and to talk about so...moving on...
Here's Dottie sitting on the nest. 

And NO! That is not boring. I found a little cache of eggs hidden in the baby coop this morning and I put three of them right up next to her and when I went back later, she had disappeared them underneath her. I have no idea if any of these eggs are fertile but it's always exciting to think we might get mama-raised babies. 

Here's a picture some of you might recognize.

The fally-down house. One of these days it's just going to collapse. I need to brave the poison ivy and get a shot from the right side of it where a tree is growing up through it and has become part of the wall. It's beautiful. I took that picture this morning after I dropped off the green beans and pickles at Miss Liola's. 

And one more thing- an interview with Hank. 

My son, the Trivia Lord!

You know what? Life is funny. "Trivia Lord" is probably the last thing in the universe I would have predicted that my precious little redheaded baby would grow up to be. And yet, it makes so much sense. 

All right, y'all. That's enough of that. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Why Does Anyone Live In Florida?

Dottie's for sure broody and I took Miss Liola some green beans and pickles but no one answered her door so I left them on the stoop and I had to backtrack on my usual route because a pack of dogs appeared, some of them pit bulls and you can say what you want about how sweet pitties are and I know because I used to have some but you can also say what you want about how they can tear you up and I know because I used to have some so I turned around and went another way and it's so fucking hot and so fucking humid and when I ducked into the woods to pee a million mosquitoes attacked me and well...
I'm miserable.

That is all.

Love...Ms. Moon

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Safe And Home

Well, I am home.
And so glad to be although I have to say that for a trip which involved neurological appointments and three children in a small house containing half of the household decorating goods available from TJ Maxx along with plenty of antiques, it was a fun trip. One thing that I've acquired in old age is the ability to just let things flow as they will and to step back and let other people control what must be controlled.
For the most part, at least.
I think I do.
I guess we'd have to ask Lily and Jason about that. I have a terrible fear of being the sort of mother-in-law who is annoying and weird and bossy and who doesn't know her place in the scheme of things and when I say "scheme of things" I mean- their family unit.
Also, it's just easier to let someone else be the boss and it's taken me a lifetime to realize that.

We left Jacksonville after we took the kids to a little park to play in and hopefully burn off some energy before the drive. Here are some pictures.

Maggie loves ducks so she was in heaven. She sings a song to herself frequently and it's about ducks. I think. It could be about a doggie. Ducky or doggie. One of those animals. 

Anyway, we got to Lloyd and I went out and picked the garden which was the sweatiest, buggiest experience of my life. The mosquitoes are not to be believed. 
Thanks, rain! 
I got so many cucumbers that, well...this happened.

Yep. Here we go again. 

And I sat in front of the TV and shelled the peas I picked and we're having those and our squash and cherry tomatoes for supper. I shouldn't be eating ANY supper. You would not believe what I have eaten today. I can't believe what I've eaten today but I will say that Owen picked out our breakfast spot which is a place where they serve nothing but donuts and cinnamon rolls. Extremely HEALTHY donuts and cinnamon rolls, okay? No soy, no nuts, vegan, and some are gluten-free!
But let's not discuss the fat and sugar in them, okay? 
Or the size. 
And for lunch we ate...
Oh god. I can't even tell you. 

Krystal burgers.

I know. I know. I know. I haven't had one of those things in thirty years. And I hope I don't eat another for another thirty years. 

Lord, I've got to get back into some better eating habits. 

So it's good to be home and all of my chickens look fine and I swear I can tell a change in Dearie the Rooster from three days ago. His fancy feathers are growing in and he's just so pretty. I think Dottie may have gone broody but she sure isn't sitting on many eggs. As I know by now though, if she is broody, she'll commandeer everybody else's eggs and sit on those too. 
It's so nice to be back in my world of poultry and pickles. 

And oh yeah- it's mighty sweet to see my sweetie too. 

But I'm sort of going to miss having two little boys cuddle with me before bedtime and having Owen read us a story. And having Miss Maggie June toddle into my room and want uppie for her own cuddles and kisses before bed. And supervising the bubble bath. And waking up in the morning and hugging my daughter who has made me a cup of coffee. And making jokes with Jason who is a very funny guy. 

I'm a lucky woman. 

And I'm home. 

Love...Ms. Moon

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

More Adventures In Jacksonville

Today has been fine and it started out out like this. 


Good Lord she's cute. 
We took Owen and Jason to the clinic and dropped them off and came back to the house-of-many-many decorative items and Lily tried to get Maggie back to sleep but that wasn't happening so we went to the funkiest place I think I've ever been. It was a hands-on play museum and yeah, seriously, that's what it was. There were climbing things and a ball pit and basketball you could play the regular way or in a wheelchair for educational purposes, I guess. There was a center set up to be a veterinarian office with real animal cages with stuffed animals in them and a real scale to weigh the animals on and giant hypodermic syringes (no needles, of course) to give your animal giant shots and it was wonderful and creepy.


There was a fire station, a pretend cafe, and a miniature Winn Dixie. Not to mention a bank and I don't even know what all. A toddler room. 


It was hot and sort of stinky as you can imagine and a germaphobe's nightmare. Child care groups were there with their little charges and the adults all had terrible worry lines on their faces and clipboards in their hands and kept saying things like, "Have you seen Jacob? Where's Jacob?"
Hell. All of the adults looked harried and worried because the children popped around like little kernels of popping corn and it was a special and strange sort of purgatory. 
But the kids loved it. 
Then lunch and then back to the house and then Lily picked up Jason and Owen and more naps were attempted and HAHAHAHAHAHAHA on that. 
Oh. Here's a picture of Gibson with a shark in a tank. Not at the hands-on museum but at the restaurant. 


Isn't he beautiful? 

Owen and I took a walk and now all of the Hartmanns have gone to have supper with Jason's uncle and I'm here alone. I just spent approximately 45 minutes trying to make a cup of coffee with fancy coffee-making things and finally managed to make a decent cup with a French press. 
I am so not a coffee gourmand. All I'm looking for is a caffeine delivery system. 

All right- here's something else I want to bitch about- if you go to a store and buy something, unless something goes wrong and you take it back, that transaction is done. 
However, if you purchase something online you can bet your boots there are going to be many emails asking you to rate your purchase, the shopping experience, the shipping experience, etc. 
Look- if something was unsatisfactory you would have heard from me! I'm not here to be your feedback on what your damn company is doing right or wrong. 

Okay. That's all I really need to bitch about now. 
We're going home tomorrow. I hear we're under a tropical storm warning. 
Hard to believe. I guess life does go on in Lloyd even if I'm not there. 

Love...Ms. Moon